SLC bus stop removed due to safety concerns, including alleged drug deals in area

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SALT LAKE CITY -- While buses come and go from downtown Salt Lake City all day, you’ll be left waiting awhile if you’re looking for a ride near 450 West 200 South.

“Where is the bus?” asked one customer, named Justin.

Unbeknownst to most people who use it, the bus is no longer making the stop.

“It’s kind of inconvenient for those of us who aren’t from Salt Lake,” Justin said. “You know, we come out here and we see these blue signs and we expect, OK, let’s get on the bus.”

In the last couple weeks, UTA removed the pole and sign and notified drivers to just keep on driving past the area, a decision they claim is aimed at making it a safer ride for everyone.

“We’ve had operators that have been concerned about their safety,” said UTA Spokesman Remi Barron.

According to Barron, the problem started about 100 yards down the road, where crowds from the nearby Road Home shelter began overflowing into their customer base.

“Obviously, it’s a facility there that services the homeless and it’s turned into a major gathering point, right there on that street, right by our bus stop,” Barron said. “We’ve had complaints from passengers who said they have been threatened or harassed or witnessed some kind of a drug transaction.”

On any given day, customers would report incidents like one FOX 13 News caught on camera, a quick sale just a few feet from the stop.

“I’ve seen people yell and scream at these bus drivers when they really don’t deserve it,” shelter resident Kevin Flowers said. “They’re the ones taking us to and from work.”

But not everyone is taking that route with their life, as other residents point out.

“There’s always going to be problems around here, but you can’t take away from people that want to do the right thing,” said Steve Bumpers, who has stayed at the shelter in the past.

According to Bumpers, removing the stop isn’t stopping the problem, just allowing it to continue on 200 South as the buses pass by.

“They’re trying to do the best they can, and everybody is getting punished for something a few people on that corner are doing,” Bumpers said.

The bus stop was located in a free fare zone. Barron said there are still stops within that zone, located just a couple blocks away.

9 comments

  • steve4898

    Why do they have to do that when i take bus from there when the stop was there i live there myself most people there dont want to walk two block to take bus or over to the central to catch the bus , if its not one thing its other things.

  • bethany

    Oh my goodness, some of these comments! walk 2 blocks away from the shelter to the next stop. I can see this being a business decision for the safety and protection of the employees at UTA.

  • Buzzelina

    Some people here is too spoiled, God forbid the have to walk TWO blocks extra to take the bus! To me, is worth it if it will avoid a bad moment for everyone.

  • Delberta Skagg

    WHY is Road Home Shelter, which has an annual budget of $7 MILLION, and whose president and chief financial officer make salaries of around $100,000, and which does NOT meet the Better Business Bureau’s standards for “Charity Accountability,” allowed to dictate the quality of life for the hundreds of law-abiding people, homeless or not, who live in Road Home Shelter and its immediate vicinity?

    (BTW, TWO Salt Lake City blocks in a Salt Lake City winter are NOT the same as two city blocks in a Honolulu winter.)

    WHY does Road Home Shelter use NONE of its $7 million annual budget to address the very obvious problem of the great many drug dealers who sell their wares, physically attack each other and their customers, and who surround the Road Home Shelter almost 24/7?

    WHY does the SLC city government and the SLCPD NOT force Road Home Shelter to pay for private security to patrol its facility and the area immediately surrounding it?

    HOW much do Utah tax-payers pay every year for the several-times-daily dispatch of police and emergency-medicine personnel in response to the violence, overdoses, and other public nuisances created by the drug dealers whom Road House allows to loiter about its facility?

    WHY is there no official investigation, or journalistic investigative reporting, of this clearly UNUSUAL and HIGHLY SUSPECT situation?

    (Should you doubt ANY of the above stated facts about Road Home Shelter, they are immediately available for verification on the BBB’s website and on other accurate trustworthy sites.

    • Janyce Streeter

      Delberta…all good points. Why is this a perpetual problem at that location? Why, when it would be so easy to go under cover at that location and clean it up, does the city not clean it up? Money? Afraid it will move to a less desirable location? How less desirable can it be to have this going on where homeless women and children must travel to get to shelter. Although…if it is the location of the bus stop that is bringing the drug traffic there, maybe it will move away from that area. I don’t know.

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